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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Jackson Browne + Thompson Springs + Jeen + The Town Heroes + Willamena = New Music Picks

Jackson Browne: Still Looking for Something

On the just-released LP Downhill From Everywhere, the veteran singer-songwriter continues to mix personal reflections with political statements (such as the title track). Our pick this week for the New Music Bin is one of the more personal songs. As Browne sings that he's "out here under the streetlight ... still looking for something in the night," we can't help but picture him on that corner in Winslow, Ariz. Nearly 50 years after "Take It Easy," the message this time is to stay restless - to never stop looking for new experiences.

Thompson Springs: Too Close for Comfort

After releasing its debut album, Undertones, last year, this indie-folk-rock band coped with the pandemic by converting its Chicago apartment into a makeshift recording studio. This is the third single to emerge from those friendly confines, with mixing help from Wilco's Pat Sansone. Starting quietly with the lines "When I get too close / You fly away," the track quickly opens up into a Petty-esque rocker, with a touch of saxophone.

Jeen: Maybe I'll Be Gone

This Toronto-based songwriter and musician is prepping her fifth album, Dog Bite. Of this single, she says: "Sometimes people just get used to you being around and assume you’ll be there no matter how they treat you. ‘Maybe I’ll Be Gone’ is a threat to leave after being taken for granted after too long." The fast-paced track features Jeen on guitar and bass along with Ian Blurton on lead guitar and Stephan Szczesniak on drums.

The Town Heroes: Fuse

This Nova Scotia duo's upcoming sixth LP, Home, is described as a concept album. Its nine songs tell a story that includes a teenage summer romance, and that's the focus of this single. Canadian Beats writes: "An upbeat, energetic rock song with tender falsetto vocals sitting atop fuzzed-out guitars and driving drums, 'Fuse' is a love letter to firsts, the summer, and carefree days where everything you hope for is falling into place."

Willamena: I Know Nothing

This indie-rock band from Kalamazoo, Mich., has been part of our big mix for several years, consistently delivering solid rock-and-roll with impassioned, heart-on-sleeve vocals. This is the lead single from Broken Songs, the group's seventh studio release. The lyric reflects on the good and bad of impermanence: "I know nothing ever stays the same / I know nothing ever keeps / from turning into something else."

Saturday, July 17, 2021

New Music: Wild Feathers, Barenaked Ladies, Courtney Barnett, Vanishing Shores and Live TTB

The Wild Feathers: Ain't Lookin

This rollicking number is the first taste of the Nashville group's upcoming LP Alvarado. It would be the band's fourth studio album - except it wasn't exactly made in a studio. “We’ve always written and demoed new songs in a cabin outside of town and then gone into the studio to record the album. This time, we decided to take the studio to the cabin and produce it ourselves,” says singer-guitarist Ricky Young. “We’ve never been more proud of a collection of songs because it feels and sounds exactly how we wanted it to. No outside input or opinions, just the five of us in a room together.”

Barenaked Ladies: New Disaster

Photo: Matt Barnes
Lead songwriter and vocalist Ed Robertson says the character of Detour de Force, the band's 13th studio album, changed when the pandemic disrupted plans to make "a very live, off-the-floor record up at my cottage." Pausing the process gave the group time to consider "what songs could be reapproached and taken to really cool places in studio." AllMusic calls the result "a thoughtfully constructed album ... balancing intimate, often humorous personal sentiments with more anthemic feel-good moments." This track might be called an anthemic feel-bad moment, reflecting on how mass-media packages climate change and other disasters as entertainment: "Stay tuned for scary monsters / Watch out for rising tides / But first a word from sponsors."

Courtney Barnett: Rae Street

Photo by Mia Mala McDonald
Here's the latest episode of Courtney's Deep Thoughts About Mundane Things - otherwise known as the first single from a new LP, Things Take Time, Take Time. The opening lines "In the morning I'm slow / I drag a chair over to the window / And I watch what's going on" - pretty much sum up the song, delivered in a languid drawl that suggests calm more than boredom. “I guess it was an exercise in patience," Barnett says. "I wrote a lot of it looking out my window, watching the world go by. ... A lot of it just feels joyful to me.” As ever, she sees things a little differently than most: "The garbage truck tiptoes along the road..."

Vanishing Shores: Maps

This is the title track from the new album by Kevin Bianchi and his Cleveland-based indie-rock band. The Kickstarter-funded LP was one of the many musical projects delayed by the pandemic, although a few tracks were released as singles over the past year (and we previously featured "Fix Me" and "Road Less Traveled"). Some of the songs are slow and contemplative; this is one of the more upbeat numbers, featuring the intertwined vocals of Bianchi and Katie Egan. The lyrics suggest an enduring relationship: "Looking over maps we held in a past life / Following each line / Our fingerprints still captured in familiar dust." 

Tedeschi Trucks Band: I Looked Away

The newest recording from one of the best touring bands in the land is Layla Revisited: Live at LOCKIN' - capturing a 2019 concert at a Virginia festival. Joined by Trey Anastasio and Doyle Bramhall II, the band played through the entirety of the Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. TTB's faithful-yet-fresh takes bring new life to the classic tunes. The set includes long jams like a terrific 12-minute version of Keep On Growing and 8 1/2 minutes of Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad. We'll find time for those in our mix, but for the New Music bin we've picked the opening number, clocking in at a mere 3:05.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Fresh sounds from Shawna Caspi, Inhaler, The Record Company, The High Loves and Aurora

Shawna Caspi: Lay Low Shadow

Persevering through pandemic isolation at home in Toronto, this singer-songwriter (and visual artist) managed to put together her most ambitious and personal album to date, to be released next month. Our listeners are familiar with Caspi's crystal clear, expressive voice and fingerstyle guitar work - often heard with minimal accompaniment on her previous recordings. This first single from Hurricane Coming features a full band, with reverberating electric guitar, keyboards, bass, drums and backing vocals, giving it a country-tinged rock sound. The lyric reflects a struggle to overcome anxiety: "Every time I trip up / That's your cue to reappear." Caspi explains: "I keep thinking that I've left it in the past, but in reality, it will always be close by. ... I need to acknowledge that feeling and learn to create a healthy dialogue with it that removes the element of fear."

Inhaler: It Won't Always Be Like This

This is the title track from the Dublin-based quartet's debut album. It's also a re-recording of a song they issued as a single in 2019. The band tells NME it was written more than a decade ago about a breakup, but the title phrase "earned richer meaning last year when the world shut down and all we could do was wait it out." The magazine says the track provides "a galvanising introduction that sets the tone for the record that follows: full of defiance, optimism and plenty of guitars." Guitarist and lead singer Eli Hewson (son of Bono) is joined by bassist Robert Keating, guitarist Josh Jenkinson and drummer Ryan McMahon. “We started writing this [album] when we were teenagers and now we’re adults,” says Keating. “I wanted the songs to feel positive,” adds Hewson. “Because… it won’t always be like this.”
On their forthcoming, third album, Play Loud, the LA-based trio "stretches out artistically and explores [its] far-flung influences," according to its publicists. Bassist Alex Stiff says: "On the first two albums, people might have thought we were three guys who sit around a campfire, praying to Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, and we're not. We're three different guys with different musical tastes. It's time for all of us to show our individuality, and this record shows us evolving." But the band's rootsy rock sound remains recognizable. Mixes well with: The Black Keys. 

The High Loves: Call Me Back

We bounce back to Toronto to find this alt-rock five-piece preparing to release Too Much of a Good Thing, its first full-length album. Lead singer and guitarist Noah Monckton says: "The song is about coming to the end of a relationship with someone you love, and the realization that the relationship might not have been healthy for either of you." The band got to play this song live exactly once before the pandemic shut down music venues. "Lockdown allowed us to really stress about the little details of the arrangement; we had time to perfectly craft a very tight, high energy 'bop' ... The music is high-energy and a ton of fun, although the lyrics are pretty melancholy on their own. This juxtaposition helps give the song some of its magic."

Aurora: Cure For Me

Veering off in a different direction, as we like to do, we pick up the latest electro-pop single from this Norwegian singer-songwriter-producer. "I don't need a cure for me," she sings. As she explains in a press release: “Sometimes I feel like the whole world is trying to convince you something is wrong with you. And sadly, often people believe this to be true. ...  I think it’s about time we shut those voices out. ... We should be allowed to be human. And we don’t need a cure for it.”

Saturday, July 3, 2021

New Music from Campbell and Johnston, Wye Oak, The Wallflowers, Garbage and Bleachers

Campbell & Johnston: Got To Feel It

From Nova Scotia comes the debut album by power duo Christine Campbell and Blake Johnston and their blues-rocking Black Market Band. The pair share guitar duties and take turns on vocals, with Campbell featured on this number. Canadian Beats says "her rich, dusky vocals ... expel heart and soul into every melody," while tracks featuring Johnson "take on the energy of his smooth, funky growl."

Wye Oak: Its Way With Me

It's been a prolific year so far for Jenn Wasner. Shortly after releasing the Head of Roses album via her Flock of Dimes solo project, she and Andy Stack returned as Wye Oak with "TNT," and now comes another single. NPR calls this track "a sublime reflection on self-control and surrender. Over a repetitive guitar pattern, Wasner exhales meditations on agency and acceptance, offering grace for all to hear." Wasner says the song is "about learning to feel at peace amidst the chaos of existence through letting go of all that is beyond our control.”

The Wallflowers: Maybe Your Heart's Not In It No More

We dip again into Exit Wounds, the new LP by Jakob Dylan and company, for this mid-tempo, guitar- and organ-infused number. Dylan calls it a "conversation you could find yourself having with your muse — one where you’re asking if they’ve changed their mind or have you changed yours. Are you still in sync or have you lost touch?" Shelby Lynne provides backing vocals.

Garbage: No Gods No Masters

The title track to the new album by Shirley Manson's long-running project is described by AllMusic as "a driving pop gem that echoes Missing Persons and Blondie. Atop the ever-reliable backing of Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker, Manson defiantly declares, 'The future is mine just the same/No master or gods to obey.'" The website calls the album "a highlight in their discography and one of their best works to date, a potent and outspoken dose of genre-blending artistry that confidently returns Garbage to their position as a band perpetually ahead of the curve."

Bleachers: Stop Making This Hurt

This track has been making its way up the charts over the fast couple of months and eventually earwormed its way into our New Music Bin. Singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and record producer Jack Antonoff will release the third album from his Bleachers project, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night, later this month. Rolling Stone calls this single "a boisterous pop-rock tune led by punchy piano, rich horn stabs, and sliced through with sparkling synths."

Saturday, June 26, 2021

New tracks by Danielia Cotton, Adrian Sutherland, Slothrust, Gang of Youths, Sleater-Kinney

Danielia Cotton: Good Day

The last time we featured a track from this New Jersey soul-rock artist, it was a powerful lament of racial prejudice, "A Different War." On this new single, Cotton lets hope reign. "During a particularly dark day, in a dark year, I remember sitting down and thinking I want to write a song that puts me in a good mood," she says. "With the help of my new writing partner Jeff Cohen from Nashville, we finished it off with lyrics that actually puts us in the mood that we set out to create."

Adrian Sutherland: Right Here

The frontman of roots-rock band Midnight Shine will release his first solo album in September. 
His home area on the James Bay in Attawapiskat First Nation has been more isolated than usual through the pandemic due to restrictions on flights - the only way in and out. With no access to recording studios, Sutherland "realized he’d have to fully DIY it," according to a press release. "So he spent last fall constructing and preparing his own recording space in a metal shipping container on his property. This spring, Adrian was finally able to start working remotely and interactively with producers and musicians from inside his ‘sea-can studio’" to complete the album. This single follows "Respect the Gift," which we featured in January.

Slothrust: Once More for the Ocean

Photo: Adam Stone
Guitarist/vocalist Leah Wellbaum, bass player Kyle Bann and drummer Will Gorin met as music students at Sarah Lawrence College in suburban New York and released their first EP in 2010. Now based in Los Angeles, they have their fifth full-length album coming out in September. Wellbaum says: "This song felt like it was handed to me by the ocean. It came to me when I was sitting on some rocks and staring at one of my favorite oceans in the world, on Star Island off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. ... it is about the search for a greater consciousness in times of chaos. For me that feeling of oneness often shows up when I am spending time in nature."

Gang of Youths: the angel of 8th ave.

After making a name for themselves in Australia, Dave Le'aupepe and his band have relocated to London. This single from their upcoming third album is "about falling in love and finding a place in a new city with that person,” Le'aupepe tells NME. "It’s my story, but we wanted it to feel like a more broad spectrum of love and the two major cities that played a big part in mine and my wife’s life." The other city would seem to be New York, given the lyric's references to 8th Avenue and Washington Square.

Sleater-Kinney: Path of Wellness

The 10th album from the Portland-based band has received somewhat mixed reviews, as critics and fans bemoan the departure of a founding member. Paste magazine is mostly positive, calling the record "rooted in a yearning for love and stability during wildly unstable times." Remaining members Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker "are not aiming to replicate the sound they had with ex-drummer Janet Weiss ... Path of Wellness is not quite a consistently triumphant reinvention, but it’s far from the dud some Weiss loyalists anticipated. What results is a very good, occasionally uneven effort ... What [it] lacks in sonic urgency, it makes up for with a vintage classic-rock swagger."

Saturday, June 19, 2021

New releases from Amy Helm, Keeton Coffman, Whitehorse, Cold War Kids, Joy Formidable

Amy Helm: Calling Home

Her new album, What the Flood Leaves Behind, is effectively a homecoming for Helm, recorded at the Levon Helm Studios she built with her dad in Woodstock, N.Y. “Going back to the place where I learned so much about how to express music, how to hold myself in music, how to listen to music,” she says, “I could see clearly where I came from and where I am now in my life. I was singing from a different place now and for a different reason.” The album is excellent from start to finish. We previously featured "Breathing" and "Are We Running Out of  Love," and will be adding other tracks to our big playlist in the coming weeks.

Keeton Coffman: Hard Times

This Texas singer-songwriter-guitarist's new LP, Hard Times, is filled with songs written while he took a break from performing to deal with bipolar disorder: "When I got back to myself, I had these 10 songs." He told The Main Edge it was "a great surprise" when he played them for his producer, Ryan Cecil, "and he said, 'This is the best record you’ve ever written.'" Coffman added: "The songs start with something I’m going through, then I wrap up these emotions and things I want to say in a fictional character or story."

Whitehorse: Why So Cruel

The wax was barely dry, so to speak, on their March release, Modern Love, when the duo of Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet announced that another LP, Strike Me Down, would arrive in September. The couple started out as a folk duo. but their sound has evolved into a wide range of rock. Sometimes it has a country tinge, but the press release for the upcoming album says it leans into "dance-ready nightclub noir." We hear a hint of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" in this single. 

Cold War Kids: What You Say

The kids have come a long way from their early-2000s indie days and their 2006 major-label debut Robbers & Cowards, which included their offbeat breakout single, "Hang Me Up to Dry." As AllMusic puts it, they "grew from quirky blues-punks into polished, anthemic rockers." They take a turn to the dance-y on this single from their upcoming album, New Age Norms 3Ear To The Ground Music says of the track: "It is always fun to hear different influences with an act who keeps getting better."

Joy Formidable: Chimes

Here's another single from what's shaping up to be a fine album, the upcoming Into the Blue. 
Lead singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan said she wrote the song at a low point, "going through a difficult breakup that left me feeling quite lost and questioning myself. In the middle of that sadness, I had a whole week of strange little serendipitous events that ended up inspiring the lyrics for ‘Chimes’. I felt like something or someone was looking out for me."

Saturday, June 12, 2021

James McMurtry, The Wallflowers, MBG, Modest Mouse, Gary Numan drop into the New Music bin

James McMurtry: Canola Fields

We're longtime fans of this Texas singer-songwriter and are happy to hear a new album is on its way. Horses and Hounds is his first LP in seven years and his debut on New West Records. Rolling Stone calls McMurtry a "hyper-literate" writer whose "lyrics are rich in detail." This song opens with a drive through Southern Alberta, where the color of the fields of canola trigger a memory: "about the same chartreuse as that ’69 Bug you used to drive around San Jose.” He sings of reconnecting with that person later in life: "Cashing in on a 30-year crush / You can't be young and do that."

The Wallflowers: Who's That Man Walking 'Round My Garden

The latest single to pop out ahead of the Exit Wounds LP due next month builds on a time-worn theme: man comes home from work and finds a strange car in the driveway / strange shoes under the bed / strange man in the kitchen. In this case, Jakob Dylan says the garden "is whatever you hold dear and find worthy of protecting. Might be a woman, could be your future, may be your peace of mind. Keep out of mine and I’ll keep out of yours.” Spin says "the timeless Americana rock sound the band is known for fuses with a little extra guitar-driven funkiness" on this track.

MBG: Go O.U.T.

Expressing the feelings of many, Toronto songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Leena Rodriguez sings of being "cooped up, locked down in a bungalow" for months and wanting to get back out in the world - but still nervous about being around "the people that live without fear." Get Some Magazine calls this single "a perfect slice of post-pandemic punk ... infectious, and kind of pummeling, with some wondrously distorted guitars, lockstep drums, and MBG’s unique scream that turns into a genuine roar at one point."

Modest Mouse: Leave a Light On

The second single to land in our New Music bin ahead of The Golden Casket "feels woozy and borderline psychedelic at the edges," writes Rolling Stone, "but it’s anchored by a big indie rock sing-along hook: “We’re leaving, we’re leaving, we’re leaving / We’ll be home soon.”

Gary Numan: Saints and Liars

The veteran of late-70s-early-80s New Wave recently released his 18th LP, Intruder. It's a concept album that "looks at climate change from the planet’s point of view," Numan explains. "If Earth could speak, and feel things the way we do, what would it say?" The music is much darker and heavier than in Numan's early works (e.g. "Cars") and would mix well with Muse at its most foreboding.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Shemekia Copeland & Kenny Wayne Shepherd + Wolf Alice + Michigan Rattlers + Liz Phair + Crowded House = this week's New Music Picks

Shemekia Copeland & Kenny Wayne Shepherd: Hit 'Em Back

Contemporary blues singer Copeland asked lyricist John Hahn for a song to address anger and division in the blues community. "You can say ‘this is the blues and that isn’t’ - and I’ve been guilty of that, too, but as I’ve grown, I’ve seen it encompasses everything from rock and folk to you name it. Blues is the root of American music." The refrain - "Let ‘em scream and yell / Push and shove / You gotta hit ‘em back with love" - certainly also applies to society at large. Copeland recruited guitarist Shepherd to write the music and join her on the record. Within days they were in a Nashville studio putting it together with pedal-steel master Robert Randolph and drummer Tony Coleman. All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Wolf Alice: Smile

The UK band's third album has drawn reviews bordering on the ecstatic. Paste Magazine writes that Blue Weekend "finds Wolf Alice at the top of their game, with each track memorable and each idea fresh and unique." NME calls it "a stone-cold masterpiece full of confidence and magic," and says of this track: "Over crunching riffs [vocalist Ellie Roswell] shoots down the world’s attempts to put her in a box and tell her how she should be." She does so mostly in a flat, talk-singing manner, in sharp contrast to her soaring vocals on the track we featured previously, "The Last Man on Earth."

Michigan Rattlers: That Kind of Life

New to our ears is this band from - well, the name tells you that. Graham Young and Adam Reed started playing together as an acoustic duo, with plans to evolve into a rock band. They've done that with the additions of keyboardist Christian Wilder and drummer Tony Audia. Their second album, That Kind of Life, is their first as a full band. Young told American Songwriter the title track is "about having this idea of what your life will be, what will happen. And how that doesn’t happen, it rarely works out. So then it’s like, how do you adjust and move forward? This is something we’ve all had to figure out this year. No one got out unscathed.”

Liz Phair: The Game

On her new album Soberish, Phair reunites with Brad Wood, the producer of Exile in Guyville, Whip-Smart and Whitechocolatespaceegg. She told Stereogum she considers this her first proper studio album since the last of those three came out in 1988, with everything since being a series of detours. We previously featured the single "Spanish Doors," and this is another song about a relationship on the skids: "Everytime I think we're solid / You change the game."

Crowded House: Love Isn't Hard At All

Neil Finn puts the band back together, more or less, on its first album in 11 years, Dreamers Are Waiting. He's joined by co-founder Nick Seymour on bass and original producer Mitchell Froom on keys - plus Finn's sons, Liam (guitar) and Elroy (drums). Glide Magazine calls the result a "solid collection of jangle pop," adding, "that core sound, anchored in deep harmonies and strong pop hooks [is] still there." This track is a multi-generational co-write, by Neil and Elroy.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

The latest: Counting Crows, Will McBride Group, Plastic Age, Annie Keating, Brett Dennen

Counting Crows: Elevator Boots

Lead singer Adam Duritz is the latest member of a well-known rock band to write a song about being a member of a well-known rock band. "Everybody wants to know you ... Plug into the buzz ... They want you and you want to / With their lips on fire and your head unscrewed / But it's time to whip another change and hit one more town." The track is one of four on the band's first release in seven years, the curiously titled Butter Miracle, Suite One.

Will McBride Group: No For An Answer

This North Carolina band's latest EP, None the Worse for Wear, recently reached our ears by way of a UK indie-music site (Viva the interwebs!). The band had its origins in 2004-05, playing gigs in the Raleigh area, and several years later started landing opening slots for such national acts as Styx, ZZ Top and Aaron Neville. They describe their music as jazz-influenced rock and pop. Here, a backing chorus adds extra flavor to the funky guitar, keyboards and drums. Mixes well with: String Cheese Incident (think "Joyful Sound"), Phish, Bruce Hornsby.

Plastic Age: Desire

Photo: Manon Pilorge
This self-described "indie-rock/pop-punk band from France recently released it's second album, Yeack! The trio, fronted by lead vocalist/bassist Apolline, cites a wide range of influences, including the Buzzcocks, Pixies, Vines and Garbage. U.K. music website Small Music Scene calls the LP "insanely entertaining," with "gritty basses and shattering drum fills mixing with the dashing riffs."

Annie Keating: Third Street

We previously featured "Marigold," and now another track from the LP Bristol County Tides enters our New Music bin. It's one of the more rocking tracks off the album, which grew from Keating's pandemic retreat from Brooklyn to Bristol County, Mass. There, she says, "the city girl in me entirely gave way to the country, captivated by the river and the tides high and low." This song describes some of the new friends she made there. Guitar Girl Magazine calls the album Keating's "most accomplished, inspired, and ambitious work to date."

Brett Dennen: See the World

The title track from the California singer-songwriter's seventh album, due this summer, is a father-to-son message that resonates with this moment. "This song has taken on a more powerful meaning after this past year," Dennenn says. "Now that the world is opening up, I have both relief and anxiety." His son "is the reason I wrote this song. To tell him that it is more important to learn from himself than it is to learn from me.”

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Jackson Browne, Scott Krokoff, Sleater-Kinney, Garbage, Gary Louris land in our New Music bin

Jackson Browne: Cleveland Heart

The title isn't a reference to the spirit of the city on Lake Erie's shore. The latest single from Browne's upcoming Downhill From Everywhere album is a wry take on the idea that human hearts are too emotionally fragile. "I expect real changes to start / When I finally get my Cleveland Heart / They can take a bashin' and never lose the passion." Browne told Rolling Stone he was driving past the offices of cardiac-device maker Cleveland Heart when "the person I was driving with said ... 'that’s where they make artificial hearts.’ I said, ‘Oh, I could use one of those!’”

Scott Krokoff: Far Too Many Times

A frequent theme in this New York troubadour's songs is encouragement to shake off self-doubt and pursue the life you want to lead. On this single, the lyric is addressed to someone who prefers to bitch and moan that life's not fair. "No one owes you anything / It's up to you to seize what each moment brings / So get out there and stand up and sing / And don't complain to me." In a couple of spots, Krokoff tosses in a parenthetical "she said" -- suggesting that the narrator of the song is actually quoting what someone once told him.

Sleater-Kinney: Worry With You

With time and the recent departure of their longtime drummer, some of the rough edges have been worn off this band that emerged from the Portland punk scene of the 1990s. The new album coming from what is now the duo of Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein is called Path of Wellness, and this single has a vibe of positivity through togetherness in a troubled world: "If I'm gonna worry, I’m gonna worry with you,” they sing over what Pitchfork calls "some of the breeziest melodies of their career."

Garbage: Wolves

Shirley Manson calls this "the pop song off the record" - that is, her band's forthcoming seventh studio album, No Gods No Masters. “This song reminds me of my younger self, when there were two sides to my personality,” says Manson, referencing an old folk tale about dueling inner wolves. “I hurt so many people in my life, both knowingly and unknowingly, I’m sure. But when you’re young and in self-survival mode, much like a baby rattlesnake, you have no idea how strong your venom is. Meanwhile, you're just out there having fun.”

Gary Louris: Almost Home

The Jayhawks frontman is about to release a solo album, Jump for Joy, that he describes as a collection of “the best songs I have written that are still lying around.” American Songwriter writes that this single "details the supernatural force that grounds every traveler - the person waiting on the other side of the door that wields a magnetic power to define a subjective concept of home."